Just when I thought Bradley Beal wearing No. 23 in college because of LeBron James and not Michael Jordan was the strangest Bradley Beal story I was ever going to hear, Michael Lee of the Washington Post throws another heater:
Most know him as Nelly, platinum-selling rapper and part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. Bradley Beal also knows him as Cornell Haynes, the family friend who would occasionally walk him to elementary school before hitting it big.
Nelly was a former star athlete at University City High in suburban St. Louis, where Beal’s mother, Besta, was a physical education teacher and athletic director. So, Beal can’t remember the first time he met Nelly, only that it was “ages ago.”
“I knew who we was, but I didn’t know,” Beal said of the now 39-year-old Nelly. “He used to walk me to school sometimes, when I was a little kid. He wasn’t as big as he is now, but he was an up-and-coming rapper and eventually ‘Country Grammar’ came out” in 2000.
I am literally stumped by this. I don’t know if I should feel old that Nelly used to walk a current NBA player to school before he was famous because I remember a time ages ago when Nelly didn’t exist, or if I should just feel old because Nelly turns 40 this year. Or maybe I should just feel confused because Bradley Beal was born in 1993, which means Nelly was walking him to school while presumably writing “Country Grammar” in his head. This is just one of those weird Awesome People Hanging Out Together sort of things, only the ages between the two and when they were famous are so disparate that it’s a little befuddling. It’s like finding out that Mick Jagger used to put Olivia Wilde to bed as a kid – a real head-scratcher.
No word on whether or not the two would knock on the doors of the school while yelling “Bill Gates, Donald Trump, let me in now” upon their arrival, but I’m guessing yes.